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Full text of "Greek gods and heroes as represented in the classical collections of the Museum : a handbook for high school students"

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This  handbook  is  intended  for  high-school  students  of 
literature  who  have  occasion  to  become  familiar  with  the 
Greek  gods  and  heroes.  To  the  student  of  Virgil  or  of 
Milton  these  gods  may  remain  merely  names,  or  they 
may  be  associated  with  illustrations  in  books;  fortunately 
Boston  possesses  original  works  of  Greek  art  which  repre- 
sent them  as  they  were  conceived  by  the  Greeks  them- 
selves, and  the  present  book  directs  attention  to  the 
original  Greek  representation  of  each  god  or  hero  which 
may  be  seen  there.  It  will  entirely  fail  of  its  purpose  un- 
less it  brings  the  student  face  to  face  with  the  objects  in 
the  Museum  illustrated  in  it.  In  so  far  as  this  purpose  is 
fulfilled,  the  student  may  come  to  realize  the  personality 
of  these  beings  of  Greek  imagination  through  the  arts  of 
sculpture  and  painting  as  well  as  through  the  art  of  litera- 
ture. In  a  word,  the  student  may  see  the  imaginative 
being  about  whom  he  is  reading,  as  the  Greeks  them- 
selves saw  it.  To  this  purpose  the  brief  descriptions  of 
the  gods  and  heroes  are  subordinated. 

The  objects  illustrated  and  the  quotations  from  Greek 
and  Latin  authors  were  selected  by  a  committee  of  high- 
school   teachers  appointed  by   the  Boston   Council  of 


Ancient  Language  Teachers,  namely,  Miss  Caroline 
W.  Trask,  chairman;  Miss  Persis  P.  Drake;  Messrs. 
Henry  C.  Jones,  Herbert  T.  Rich,  and  William  H. 

In  preparing  the  text,  also,  I  have  benefited  by  the 
suggestions  and  criticisms  of  this  Committee. 

Arthur  Fairbanks. 




PERIODS  IN  THE  HISTORY  OF  CLASSICAL  ART          .          .  2 

I.  Prehistoric  Art  of  Greece,    3000-1000  b.c.    ....  2 

II.  Archaic  Greek  Art,  1000-500  b.c.         .....  2 

III.  The  Fifth  Century,  500-400  b.c.           .....  3 

IV.  The  Fourth  Century,  400-300  b.c.       .....  5 

V.  The  Hellenistic  Period,  300-100  b.c.   .....  6 

VI.  Gr^co-Roman  Art,  100  b.c.-zog  a.d.    .....  6 




HERA  — JUNO 16 


APOLLO  AND   ARTEMIS    (DIANA)        ....  20 




SCYLLA        . 29 



PINA)           33 




APHRODITE   (VENUS):   EROTES    (CUPIDS)  .        .  40 

ARES  — MARS 43 


JANUS  ...........  44 

10 ;   DANAE;  PERSEUS  ;   MEDUSA         ....  45 











From  objects  in  the  Museum  of  Fine  Arts,  Boston 

1.  Gold  and  ivory  statuette  from  Crete,  about  1600  B.C.         .  2 

2.  Marble  portrait  of  a  youth,  Roman  copy  of  a  Greek  work 

in  the  style  of  Scopas 5 

3.  Portrait  of  Arsinoe  II  (?);  bronze,  about  300  B.C.          .  6 

4.  Roman  portrait  head;  terra-cotta,  first  century  B.C.          .  7 

5.  Head  of  Zeus;  marble,  fourth-century  copy  from  the  Zeus 

of  Pheidias 14 

6.  Coin  of  Elis,  about  400  B.C. ;  head  of  Zeus,  eagle  of  Zeus      .  1 5 

7.  Coin  of  Elis,  fourth  century  B.C.;  head  of  Hera,  eagle        .  16 

8.  Bronze  statuette  of  Athena;  Grccco-Roman      .         .         .17 

9.  Black-figured  amphora,  sixth  century  B.C.;  birth  of  Athena  18 

10.  Coin  of  Athens,  fifth  century  B.C.;  head  of  Athena,  owl  19 

11.  Late  red-figured  krater  made  in  Italy;  Athena  and  Mar- 

syas 19 

12.  Pyxis  or  toilet  box,  fifth  century  B.C.;  Apollo  and  the 

Muses 21 

13.  Red-figured  oinochoe  or  pitcher;  Apollo  and  Artemis          .  22 

14.  Head  of  Artemis;  marble,  fifth  century  B.C.     .         .         -23 

15.  Cybele;  Colossal  marble  statue,  about  300  B.C.         .         .  25 

16.  Terra-cotta  figurine  from  Asia  Minor,  late  third  century 

B.C.;  Cybele  riding  on  a  lion 26 

17.  Coin   of  Poseidonia,   sixth   century  B.C.  Poseidon   with 

trident .         .         .         •  27 

18.  Small  bronze  statuette  of  Poseidon;  Roman  period  .         .  2S 



19.  Gold  seal  ring,  Athens,  fifth  century  B.C.;  Nereid  on  a  sea 

20.  Late  vase  made  in  Italy;  Scylla         .... 

21.  Coin  of  Rhodes,  fourth  century  B.C.;  head  of  Helios,  rose 

22.  Arretine  pottery  mould;  Death  of  Phaethon     . 

23.  Roman  cameo;  Aurora  driving  a  biga 

24.  Votive  mask  of  terra-cotta,  late  fifth  century  B.C.;  bust  of 

Demeter        ........ 

25.  Coin  of  Delphi,  fourth  century  B.C.;  Demeter  veiled  and 

with  wreath  of  grain,  Apollo  seated  on  omphalus  . 

26.  Red-figured  vase;  Persephone  rising  from  the  ground 

27.  Coin  of  Naxos  in  Sicily,  fifth  century  B.C. ;  head  of  Diony 

sus,  Satyr  drinking        ...... 

28.  Bronze  statuette,  sixth  century  B.C.;  Hermes  with  ram 

29.  Graeco-Roman  marble:   Hermes   (type of  fourth  century 

30.  Intaglio  gem,  Hellenistic  period;  Hermes  with  lyre     . 

31.  Bronze  and  iron  caduceus 

32.  Bronze    mirror    handle,  about  500  B.C.;  Aphrodite  and 

xL/roLes   ......... 

2,:^.  Plastic  lekythos,  fourth  century  B.C.;  birth  of  Aphrodite 

34.  Marble  head  of  Aphrodite,  fourth  century  B.C.  . 

35.  Terra-cotta  figurines  from  Myrina,  second  century  b.c 

Erotes  or  Cupids   ....... 

36.  Graeco-Roman  cameo;  wedding  of  Cupid  and  Psyche 

37.  Roman  terra-cotta  lamp;  head  of  Janus    . 

38.  Red-figured  vase  painting,  from  a  hydria;  Hermes  about 

to  slay  Argus         ....... 

39.  Red-figured  hydria,  early  fifth  century  B.C.;   carpenter 

preparing  the  chest  for  Danae  and  Perseus 


40.  Black  cup   with  stamped  figures,   fourth  century  B.C.; 

Perseus  and  Medusa    .......     47 

41.  Bronze  handle,  sixth  century  B.C.;  head  of  Medusa  .     48 

42.  Proto-Corinthian  vase,  seventh  century  B.C.;  Bellerophon 

attacking  the  Chimaera         ......     40 

43.  Black-figured  amphora,  sixth  century  B.C.;  Europa  on  the 

bull       ..........     50 

44.  Coin  of  Cnossos  in  Crete,  fourth  century  B.C.;  head  of 

Hera,  labyrinth 51 

45.  Red-figured  krater,  about  450  B.C.;  death  of  Actaeon    .     52 

46.  Red-figured  amphora;  CEdipus  and  the  Sphinx  .         .     53 

47.  Bronze  mirror  case,   Greek,  fourth  century  B.C.;  Caly- 

donian  boar  hunt 54 

48.  Coin  of  Byzantium,  fourth  century  B.C. ;  infant  Heracles 

strangling  serpents,  bull  on  dolphin      .         .         .         -56 

49.  Black-figured  amphora;  Heracles  strangHng  the  Nemean 

lion,  lolaus,  and  Athena  .         .         .         .         .         -57 

50.  Section  of  frieze  from  'the  temple  at  Assos,  sixth  century 

B.C.;  Heracles  shooting  an  arrow  at  the  flying  Centaurs     57 

51.  Black  and  red-figured  amphora,  about  500  B.C.;  Heracles 

and  the  Cretan  bull       .......     58 

52.  Early  black-figured  amphora;  battle  of  Heracles  with  the 

Amazons       .........     58 

53.  Small  archaic  Greek  bronze;  Heracles  shooting  an  arrow  .     59 

54.  Red-figured  plate ;  youthful  Heracles  dragging  Cerberus, 

attended  by  Hermes 60 

55.  Black-figured  hydria;  Heracles  and  the  Triton  .         .         .61 

56.  Marble  statuette  of  Heracles;  Roman  copy  of  a  bronze  by 

Myron  (?) 61 

57.  Terra-cotta  figure,  southern  Italy,  second  century  B.C.; 

Heracles  reclining  on  his  lion  skin  .         .         .         .62 


$^.  Scene  on  the  shoulder  of  a  black-figured  hydria;  Theseus 

slaying  the  Minotaur 63 

S^a.  Red-figured  vase   painting,  late  fifth  century;  Theseus 

abandoning  Ariadne -63 

59.  Red-figured  kyhx  signed  by  Aristophanes,  late  fifth  cen- 

tury B.C. ;  Theseus  defending  a  Lapith  woman  attacked 

by  a  Centaur         ........     64 

60.  R.ed-figured  lekythos,  about  450  B.C.;  Theseus  and  two 

companions  in  conflict  with  Hippolyte  on  horseback  and 

a  second  Amazon  on  foot      ......     05 

61.  Fragment  of  marble  sculpture,  early  fourth  century  B.C.; 

Amazon  on  horseback 66 

62.  Scene  from  red-figured  bowl  (skyphos),  about  460  B.C.;  ab- 

duction of  Helen   ........     67 

63.  Red-figured  krater,  about  450  B.C.;  ^Eneas  and  Diomedes     67 

64.  Black-figured  lekythos;  Achilles,  Athena,  and  Ajax  .         .     69 

65.  Apulian  red-figured  amphora,  fourth  century  B.C.;  visit 

of  Phoenix  to  Achilles 70 

66.  Red-figured  amphora,  about  450  B.C.;  Hephaestus  and 

Thetis  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         -71 

67.  Red-figured  kylix,  about  450  B.C.;  Hector  and  Achilles 

before  Troy 72 

68.  Etruscan  bronze  mirror,  third  century  B.C. ;  suicide  of  Ajax     73 

69.  Marble  relief,  late  Greek  work;  death  of  Priam      .         -75 

70.  Scene  from  red-figured  bowl,  about  460  B.C.;  Menelaus  re- 

covers Helen  ........     75 

71.  Red-figured  toilet  box  (cover),  second  half  fifth  century 

B.C.;  Odysseus  meeting  Nausicaa  .        .         .         .         •     76 

72.  Black-figured  kylix,  early  sixth  century  B.C.;  Odysseus 

and  Circe      .........     77 

73.  Marble  head  of  Homer     .         .         .         .         .         .         -79 



Marvellous  as  are  the  remains  of  Greek  and  Roman 
art  to-day,  they  give  us  but  faint  glimmerings  of  its 
original  glory.  Marble  statues  and  reliefs,  the  greatest 
achievements  of  sculpture  ever  made,  have  been  muti- 
lated by  barbarian  hands  and  for  the  most  part  burned 
in  kilns  for  lime.  Bronze  statues  and  utensils  have  been 
melted  for  the  metal  they  contain,  or  have  crumbled  un- 
der the  action  of  the  atmosphere.  Objects  of  terra-cotta 
have  been  ruthlessly  broken  in  pieces;  gold  jewellery  has 
been  used  for  buUion;  and  other  objects  of  the  minor  arts 
have  largely  been  destroyed  or  lost.  Largely  because 
they  were  placed  in  graves  and  were  not  destroyed  by 
atmospheric  influence,  terra-cotta  figures  and  vases  re- 
main to  us  in  rather  large  numbers;  and  buried  hoards  of 
coins  not  infrequently  come  to  light.  But  Greek  painting 
we  only  know  in  late  examples  like  those  found  at  Pom- 
peii and  in  such  minor  work  as  the  scenes  on  painted 
vases.  Of  original  Greek  sculpture  by  a  great  master 
only  the  Hermes  of  Praxiteles  is  left,  and  that  is  not  com- 
plete. The  statues  that  adorned  the  temples  and  public 
buildings  of  Greece  in  countless  numbers  have  disap- 
peared. Yet,  though  our  knowledge  of  Greek  sculpture 
is  based  on  late  copies  and  on  a  few  works  by  less  gifted 
men,  these  are  sufficient  to  kindle  the  deepest  admiration 
of  later  ages. 



In  general  Greek  and  Roman  art  may  be  considered  in 
six  periods :  — 

I.  Prehistoric  Art  of  Greece,  3000-1000  B.C.  It  is  less 
than    forty  years    since   excavations   at    Mycenae  first 

revealed  an  art  hitherto  unknown, 
which  is  still  often  called  '' Myce- 
naean." The  civihzation  which  pro- 
duced it  probably  centred  originally 
in  the  island  of  Crete,  whose  power 
and  wealth  are  echoed  in  the  tradi- 
tions of  Minos,  King  of  Cnossos.  At 
its  best  the  art  of  this  people  shows 
an  admirable  skill  in  decorative  de- 
sign and  a  free  style  approaching 
naturalism ;  the  phenomena  of  nature 
and  even  of  human  life  are  repre- 
sented vividly  and  freshly.  In  the 
Cast  Court  a  case  of  electrotype  re- 
productions gives  some  idea  of  the 
wonderful  decorated  work  in  metal 
from  this  epoch ;  the  Museum  also  ex- 
hibits a,  few  of  the  engraved  seal  stones,  a  series  of  stone 
and  pottery  vases,  and  a  small  ivory  figure  of  a  god- 

II.  Archaic  Greek  Art,  1000-500  B.C.  Social  and  po- 
litical changes,  which  accompanied  the  shiftmg  of  popu- 
lation in  Greece  about  1000  B.C.,  prepared  the  way  for 

I.  Gold  and  ivory  sta- 
tuette from  Crete, 
about  1600  B.C.; 
snake  goddess 


the  development  of  the  historic  Greek  people  and  Greek 
art  properly  so-called.  The  early  development  of  this  art 
is  illustrated  by  the  painted  pottery  vases.  The  earlier 
t\'pe  has  rather  heavy  shapes  and  the  decoration  consists 
of  geometrical  designs,  in  which  rudely  drawn  men  and 
animals  are  sometimes  introduced.  In  the  eighth  and 
seventh  centuries  the  vases  of  Rhodes  and  Corinth, 
with  their  rows  of  animals  real  and  fantastic  and  their 
abundant  use  of  rosettes,  spirals,  etc.,  illustrate  the 
strong  influence  of  Eastern  art.  In  the  sixth  century 
Athens  became  the  centre  of  the  potter's  art.  In  the 
Attic  black-figured  ware  the  shapes  were  refined,  the 
conventional  decorative  ornament  was  confined  to  defi- 
nite limits,  and  the  interest  of  the  vases  was  much  in- 
creased by  the  use  of  scenes  of  human  interest.  At  this 
time,  in  the  sixth  century  B.C.,  the  characteristic  human- 
ism of  Greek  art  is  already  manifest  in  the  sculptor's 
effort  to  reproduce  the  human  figure  in  bronze  and 
marble,  though  sculpture  was  mainly  limited  to  works 
of  a  religious  nature  —  statues  of  gods,  ideal  statues  of 
athletes  commemorating  victories  in  religious  games, 
and  other  sculptures  dedicated  to  the  gods.  In  the 
Archaic  room  are  exhibited  the  limestone  statue  of  a 
man,  and  several  bronze  statuettes;  these  illustrate  the 
limitations  of  sculpture  in  this  epoch,  and  its  singular 

III.  The  Fifth  Century,  500-400  B.C.  During  the  years 
in  which  the  -^reek  states  were  rising  to  their  highest 
political  power,  the  technical  progress  of  the  arts  con- 


tinued,  and  the  conventions  of  the  archaic  period  gradu- 
ally gave  way  to  a  free  style.  In  the  pottery  of  Athens 
the  colors  were  reversed;  the  figures  were  left  in  the  red 
color  of  the  clay  and  the  background  filled  in  with  solid 
black;  further,  mythological  scenes  became  less  frequent 
than  scenes  taken  from  daily  life.  The  influence  of  the 
painting  of  Polygnotus  may  be  clearly  seen  on  certain 
vases  after  the  middle  of  the  century.  The  strivings  to 
express  the  human  figure  freely  in  bronze  and  marble  in 
the  earlier  part  of  the  century  culminated  in  the  noble 
sculptures  of  the  latter  part,  which  embodied  so  per- 
fectly the  Hellenic  ideal  of  proportion,  sanity,  and  self- 
command.  Sculpture  still  served  a  civic  and  a  religious 
end,  in  that  the  statues  and  reliefs  represented  either  the 
gods  and  stories  of  the  gods  or  victorious  athletes  or  dead 
persons  (grave  monuments).  The  three  great  sculptors 
of  this  epoch  were  Myron,  Polycleitus,  and  Pheidias. 
The  work  of  Myron  is  represented  in  the  Museum  by  a 
cast  of  the  well-known  Discobolus  and  by  an  excellent 
Roman  copy  in  marble  of  a  bronze  statuette  of  Heracles 
(see  p.  6i).  A  fine  head  in  the  style  of  Polycleitus  and 
the  cast  of  his  Spear-bearer  (Doryphorus)  show  the  im- 
personal, ideal  manner  in  which  this  artist  worked.  And 
some  conception  of  the  greatness  of  Pheidias  may  be 
gained  from  the  casts  of  the  Parthenon  sculpture,  and 
from  the  fourth-century  copy  in  marble  of  the  head  of 
his  Olympian  Zeus  (see  p.  14).  Artistic  objects  of  minor 
importance,  such  as  coins,  gems,  jewellery,  and  utensils, 
illustrate  the  same  Greek  ideals  of  proportion  and  adap- 


tation  of  means  to  ends  and  the  effort  to  make  each  ob- 
ject perfect  in  its  own  way. 

IV.  The  Fourth  Century,  400-300  B.C.  With  the  decay 
of  pohtical  power  and  the  waning  influence  of  state  re- 
Hgion  in  this  age,  individual- 
ism came  to  dominate  Greek 
thought  and  action.  The 
glory  or  the  riches  or  the 
pleasure  a  man  could  attain 
for  himself  was  the  motive 
of  life,  rather  than  the  glory 
and  the  power  of  the  state 
he  might  serve.  Sculpture 
showed  the  influence  of  this 
change  in  the  attention  paid 
to  individual  portraiture,  in 
the  effort  to  produce  charm- 
ing objects  rather  than  to 
embody  great  ideas,  and  in 
the  expression  of  individual 
emotion  even  in  statues  of 
the  gods.  The  grace  of  Prax- 
iteles may  be  seen  in  the  cast  of  his  Hermes,  in  the  mar- 
ble head  of  Aphrodite  (see  p.  41),  and  in  the  terra-cotta 
figurines  which  show  the  influence  of  his  work;  in  con- 
trast with  this  spirit  a  marble  head  of  a  youth  gives  some 
idea  of  the  fire  and  intensity  that  marked  the  work  of 
Scopas.  Potters  produced  richly  decorated  vases  with 
little  artistic  feeling,  though  painted  vases  were  for  the 

2.  Marble  portrait  of  a  youth,  Ro- 
man copy  of  a  Greek  work  in 
the  style  of  Scopas 


most  part  made  in  Italy  rather  than  in  Athens.  The 
spirit  of  the  age  was  finely  expressed  in  decorative  ob- 
jects of  the  minor  arts. 

V.  The  Hellenistic  Period,  300-100  B.C.  The  reign  of 
Alexander  the  Great  marks  the  beginning  of  a  period 

when  artists  of 
great  technical  skill 
lacked  the  creative 
impulse  to  produce 
great  works  of  art. 
Noble  portraits, 
however,  were  pro- 
duced in  bronze 
and  marble;  an- 
cient myths,  no 
longer  believed, 
wxre  treated  in  a 
dramatic  and  pic- 
turesque style; 
and  genre  scenes 
and  types  were 
expressed  with 
wonderful  charm. 
More  and  more,  objects  of  art  served  to  glorify  the  in- 
dividual, or  to  beautify  his  home. 

VI.  GrcEco-Roman  Art,  100  B.C.  to  200  a.d.  When 
Rome  conquered  the  Mediterranean  world,  and  the 
practical  Roman  mind  dominated  its  civilization,  an  in- 
dependent Greek  art  could  no  longer  exist.    The   tech- 

j.  Portrait  of  Arsinoe  II  {?);  bronze,  about 
300  B.C. 


nical  skill  which  had  been  acquired,  however,  served   to 
produce  fine  portraits  and  good  examples  of  decoration. 

4.  Roman  portrait  head;  tcrra-cotta,  first  century  B.C. 

Countless  statues  from  plundered  Greek  cities  were 
brought  to  Italy  to  decorate  Roman  palaces  and  villas; 
but  the  demand  so  far  exceeded  the  supply  that  famous 
statues  of  the  fifth  and  fourth  centuries  were  reproduced 


in  great  numbers  in  a  more  or  less  mechanical  manner. 
The  '^archaistic''  sculpture  of  this  epoch  further  exem- 
plifies the  absence  of  original  inspiration. 


Greek  painted  vases  were  distinctly  objects  of  a  minor 
art,  hardly  regarded  in  ancient  Greece  as  objects  of  art 
at  all  unless,  perhaps,  for  a  brief  period  in  the  early  part 
of  the  fifth  century  B.C.  For  the  history  of  Greek  art 
they  necessarily  receive  much  attention  to-day,  first, 
because  their  preservation  is  such  as  to  furnish  a  remark- 
able historic  record  of  the  development  of  this  art  from 
earliest  times,  and  secondly,  because  they  are  almost  the 
only  contemporary  record  of  Greek  painting.  Further, 
they  serve  in  a  peculiar  way  to  make  Greek  myths  and 
Greek  daily  life  real  to  us,  through  the  scenes  used  in 
their  decoration.  They  are  sufficiently  foreign  to  the 
student  to-day  to  make  desirable  some  account  of  their 
technique  and  of  the  commoner  forms. 

The  manufacture  of  finer  Greek  vases  was  limited  to 
places  where  suitable  clay  was  found.  The  first  step  was 
to  wash  the  clay  free  from  impurities  and  knead  it  into  a 
homogeneous  mass.  A  small  piece  of  this  clay  was  then 
shaped  on  the  potter's  wheel,  which  was  usually  turned 
by  hand,  until  the  form  of  the  body  of  the  vase  was  de- 
veloped. Most  Greek  vases  were  made  of  several  pieces 
shaped  independently  on  the  wheel,  —  body,  foot,  per- 
haps neck,  and  mouth,  —  and  these  were  put  ^^^ogether 
and  handles  shaped  in  a  mould  were  attached,  before  the 


clay  was  allowed  to  dry.  The  clay  of  Athenian  vases  had 
a  certain  amount  of  iron  oxide,  and  often  more  was 
added  to  produce  a  rich  terra-cotta  red  when  the  vase 
was  fired.  When  the  vase  was  complete,  it  was  dried  and 
possibly  subjected  to  heat,  before  it  was  turned  over  to 
the  decorator.  He  appHed  the  black  glaze  which  served 
as  the  main  or  only  decoration;  the  outlines  of  the  deco- 
ration and  the  figures  were  first  drawn  with  a  fine  feather 
grasped  by  all  the  fingers  (not  by  the  thumb  and  fore- 
finger alone),  and  later  the  parts  that  were  to  be  sohd 
black  were  filled  in  with  glaze.  The  vase  was  then  fired 
at  a  heat  sufficient  to  bake  the  clay  and  fuse  the  glaze  on 
to  it.  Other  colors,  enamel  white,  dull  purple,  etc.,  were 
sometimes  added  later. 

Most  of  the  vases  interesting  for  their  scene  are  of 
the  black-figured  or  red-figured  Athenian  ware.  On  the 
black-figured  vases,  as  the  name  implies,  the  figures  were 
painted  in  black  glaze  and  the  background  of  the  scene 
was  left  in  the  red  of  the  clay.  After  the  vase  had  been 
fired,  details  of  the  figures  (garment  lines  and  decoration, 
hair,  eyes,  etc.)  were  added  in  fine  incised  lines  with  a 
sharp  instrument  which  cut  through  the  glaze.  Often 
dull  purple  and  white  were  used  to  decorate  the  garments, 
and  the  flesh  of  women  was  painted  white  with  details  of 
the  eye,  etc.,  added  in  thin  glaze.  These  vases  were  for 
the  most  part  made  at  Athens  in  the  sixth  century  b.c. 

On  the  red-figured  vases  the  figures  of  the  scene  and 
often  th-^  decoration  were  left  in  the  red  of  the  clay, 
while  the  background  was  entirely  filled  in  with  black 


glaze.  Details  of  the  garments  and  figures  were  added 
in  fine  lines  either  of  black  glaze  or  of  thin  yellow  glaze; 
colors  were  not  used  on  these  vases  in  the  finest  period, 
namely  the  fifth  century  B.C.  at  Athens. 

On  a  few  vases,  at  Athens  mainly  in  the  fifth  century 
B.C.,  the  space  to  be  occupied  by  the  scene  was  covered 
with  a  thin  wash  or  slip  of  chalky  white  as  a  foundation 
for  the  scene.  The  scene  was  then  painted  in  outlines  of 
black  glaze,  or  thin  yellow  glaze,  or  later  in  a  dull  color. 
On  these  vases  solid  color,  often  several  colors,  were  later 
applied  for  garments  and  accessories. 

Some  of  the  shapes  of  Greek  vases,  such  as  the  plate 
and  the  pitcher,  are  not  unfamiliar  to-day.  Of  the  pecul- 
iar shapes  the  following  are  the  most  important :  — 

1.  The  amphora,  a  high  jar  with  two  handles  and 
cover,  designed  for  storing  wine  or  oil. 

2.  The  krater,  or  mixing-bowl,  a  large  jar  with  spread- 
ing mouth  and  small  handles,  designed  for  mixing  wine 
with  water,  for  the  Greeks  rarely  drank  wine  undiluted. 

3.  The  kylix,  a  flat  drinking- vessel  with  slender  foot 
and  spreading  handles.  The  finest  examples  of  Greek 
painted  vases  are  of  this  shape. 

4.  The  lekythos,  a  small  vase  with  slender  neck  and 
one  handle,  used  for  unguents  and  perfumes, 


The  use  of  terra-cotta  for  small  figures  and  for  archi- 
tectural decorations,  as  well  as  for  certain  utensils,  was 
not  limited  to  any  one  age.    After  the  clay  had  been 


properly  kneaded,  in  early  times  it  was  shaped  by  hand; 
later  it  was  pressed  into  a  mould,  and  on  the  object  thus 
obtained  details  were  added  or  modilied  or  defined  at  the 
will  of  the  maker.  The  object  was  then  baked,  and  finally 
colors  were  applied  to  the  surface.  The  most  interesting 
terra-cottas  which  remain  to  us  are  the  figurines,  rude, 
small  figures  probably  representing  gods  from  the  later 
pre-historic  period,  groups  of  single  figures  in  the  occupa- 
tions of  daily  life  from  the  beginning  of  the  fifth  century, 
and  the  wonderfully  graceful  figurines  from  the  graves  of 
Tanagra,  Asia  Minor,  and  southern  Italy,  which  date 
from  the  third  and  second  centuries  B.C.  The  latter, 
which  ordinarily  are  genre  types,  are  perhaps  the  most 
charming  examples  of  Greek  art  which  exist  to-day.  A 
few  moulds  which  have  been  discovered  make  it  clear 
that  only  the  general  type  was  obtained  by  the  use  of 
a  mould;  the  gesture  of  the  arms  and  the  objects  in  the 
hands  were  modified  by  the  maker,  details  were  defined 
in  the  garments,  hair,  etc.,  and  the  face  was  remodelled 
as  the  artist  might  choose.  With  the  variety  in  the  ap- 
plied colors  the  figures  from  the  same  mould  were  often 
quite  different,  and  instead  of  mechanical  reproduction 
we  have  a  mechanical  process  used  merely  as  the  start- 
ing-point for  the  production  of  true  objects  of  art. 

The  relief  designs  on  Roman  lamps,  and  the  large 
reliefs  made  in  southern  Italy  for  decorative  purposes, 
are  probably  mechanical  reproductions;  they  are  of  in- 
terest mainly  as  showing  the  skill  of  the  artist  who  made 
the  mould  used  in  their  manufacture. 


Because  of  its  cheapness,  utensils  of  daily  use  were 
often  made  of  pottery  instead  of  metal.  On  the  painted 
pottery  vases  the  influence  of  metal  types  is  sometimes 
clear,  but  it  is  most  evident  in  the  case  of  utensils  with 
decoration  in  relief.  The  so-called  bucchero  ware  is  a 
group  of  vases  made  on  the  potter's  wheel,  to  which  are 
applied  relief  ornaments  made  in  a  mould;  the  whole 
vase  is  then  colored  black  to  represent  metal.  A  finer 
type  of  workmanship  is  found  in  the  Arretine  ware  which 
receives  its  name  from  Arretium  in  Italy  (cf.  p.  32). 
Hellenistic  silver  bowls,  finely  decorated  with  figures  and 
ornaments  in  relief,  were  probably  the  originals  which 
were  reproduced  by  means  of  moulds  in  this  red  glazed 
pottery.  The  examples  of  it  are  thus  interesting  both  in 
themselves  for  their  very  graceful  decoration,  and  also 
for  the  evidence  they  furnish  of  the  skill  of  Hellenistic  or 
Graeco-Roman  silversmiths. 


Note:  The  order  of  discussion  in  the  following  pages 
is  the  same  as  in  the  author's  ''  Mythology  of  Greece  and 
Rome"  (New  York,  1907);  namely:  the  greater  gods 
(Zeus,  Hera,  Athena,  Apollo,  and  Artemis) ;  gods  of  earth, 
water,  and  sky;  gods  of  vegetable  and  animal  Hfe;  gods 
of  human  life  and  human  activities;  local  heroes;  Hera- 
cles and  Theseus;  heroes  of  the  Trojan  War. 


O  qui  res  hominumque  deumque 
aeternis  regis  imperiis  et  fulmine  terres. 

Virg.  ^n.  I,  229-30. 

O  thou  who  rulest  the  fortunes  both  of  man  and  of  the  gods  with  un- 
ending sway  and  terriliest  with  thy  thunderbolt. 

In  Greek  religion  and  in  Greek  mythology  Zeus  was 
conceived  as  king  and  as  father.  As  king  he  was  all- 
powerful,  leading  the  gods  to  victory  over  the  Titans 
and  the  Giants,  and  able  to  withstand  all  the  gods,  should 
they  unite  against  him  (IHad,  viii,  20/.).  As  "father  of 
gods  and  men,"  to  use  the  Homeric  formula  (cf.  Virg. 
/En.  I,  254),  his  just  rule  was  tempered  with  mercy  and 
benignant  care  for  his  subjects.  In  Greek  religion  em- 
phasis was  laid  on  his  function  as  god  of  the  heavens  in 
sending  rain  and  causing  the  crops  to  grow.  Greek  myth 
developed  his  character  as  like  that  of  a  human  king  who 


was  often  swayed  by  impulse,  especially  in  yielding  to 
the  charms  of  beautiful  women.  ^ 

For  the  temple  of  Zeus  at  Olympia,  the  great  centre  of 
Zeus  worship  in  Greece,  Pheidias  made  his  most  cele- 

5.  Head  of  Zeus;  marble,  fourth-century  copy  from  the 
Zeus  of  Pheidias 

brated  work,  a  colossal  statue  of  Olympian  Zeus.  As  it 
was  made  of  gold  and  ivory,  plates  of  gold  for  the  gar- 
ments and  plates  of  ivory  for  the  flesh  parts,  it  was  as 
splendid  as  it  was  perishable.   Our  knowledge  of  it  is  de- 



rived  from  coins  on  which  it  was  represented,  and  from 
the  marble  copy  in  this  museum  reproduced  above  — 
both  from  the  fourth  century,  the  century  after  the 
statue  was  made  by  Pheidias. 

The  story  has  come  down  to  us  that  Pheidias,  when 
asked  how  he  would  portray  the  god,  replied  by  quoting 
the  lines  of  Homer  (Iliad,  i,  527/.):  ^'Kronion  spake  and 
bowed  his  dark  brow,  and  the  ambrosial  locks  waved 
from  the  king's  immortal  head;  and  he  made  great 
Olympus  quake."    In  other  words,  he  intended  to  por- 

6.  Coin  of  Elis,  about  400  B.C. ;  head  of  Zeus,  eagle  of  Zeus 

tray  the  majesty  and  pov/er  of  the  god.  A  late  rhetori- 
cian (Dio  Chrysostom)  describes  the  influence  of  the 
statue  in  the  following  words:  "Whoever  is  utterly  weary 
in  heart,  having  exhausted  all  the  calamities  and  griefs 
of  life  so  that  sweet  sleep  is  never  his  portion,  forgets  all 
that  is  dreadful  or  burdensome  in  human  life  when  he 
stands  before  this  statue  .  .  .  such  light  and  such  sweet- 
ness come  from  the  statue  of  the  god."  In  the  extant 
reproductions  of  this  statue,  both  the  power  of  the  god 
and  his  benignant  mercy  are  represented. 




Ast  ego,  quae  divom  incedo  regina,  Jovisque 

et  soror  et  conjunx,  una  cum  gente  tot  annos 

bella  gero.  Virg.  JEn.  i,  46-48. 

But  I,  whose  position  is  queen  of  the  gods,  both  sister  and  wife  of  Jove, 
wage  war  with  one  race  all  these  years. 

Hera  was  worshipped  as  the  goddess  of  marriage  and 
the  special  patron  of  wife  and  mother.  In  mythology 
her  position  as  queen  of  the  gods  and  wife  of  Zeus  is  the 
starting-point  for  many  stories,  which  concern  now  her 

7.  Coin  of  Elis,  fourth  century  B.C. ;  head  of  Hera,  eagle 

bickerings  with  her  husband,  now  her  jealousy  of  his 
amours,  now  her  interest  to  help  or  more  commonly  to 
hinder  his  purposes  in  the  government  of  the  world.  The 
most  celebrated  statue  of  Hera  was  that  made  of  gold 
and  ivory  by  Polycleitus  for  her  temple  at  Argos. 




lam  summas  arces  Tritonia  (respicc)  Pallas 
insedit,  limbo  effulgens  et  Gorgone  soeva. 

Virg.  .En.  II,  615-16. 

Look,  already  hath  Tritonian  Pallas,  with  gleaming  girdle  and  Gor- 
gon grim,  taken  her  post  on  the  heights  of  the  citadel. 

Athena,  who  sprang 
full-armed  from  the  head 
of  Zeus  (Homeric  Hymn, 
XXVIII ;  Milton,  Paradise 
Lost, II,  752/.),  represents 
two  of  the  attributes  of 
Zeus,  his  wisdom,  and  his 
power  as  manifested  in 
battle.  As  goddess  of 
wisdom  she  presided  over 
handicrafts,  especially 
weaving;  as  born  in  full 
panoply,  she  was  the  god- 
dess of  warfare.  The 
patron  goddess  of  Athens, 
she  guided  the  counsels 
of  the  city,  defended  it 
against  its  enemies,  and 
brought  it  prosperity. 

The  statuette  figured 
here,  which  should  be 
supplemented  by  the 
spear   originally   held   in 

8.  Bronze  statuette  of  Athena; 



the  left  hand,  represents  her  as  wearing  the  aegis  (a  cape 
with  the  Gorgon's  head)  which  stood  for  protection  to 
her  favorites  and  terror  to  her  enemies.  It  has  been 
conjectured  that  this  small  bronze  is  a  copy  of  the 
colossal  bronze  statue  of  Athena  Promachos  (Athena 
who  fights  in  front  of  the  army)  which  Pheidias  made  to 
stand  on  the  acropolis  of  Athens. 

In  the  stiff,  literal  manner  of  the  sixth-century  vase 

p.  Black-figured  amphora,  sixth  century  B.C. ;  birth 

of  Athena 

A  Til  EX  A  —  MINERVA 


painter  the  above  scene  from  a  black-ligured  vase  repre- 
sents the  story  of  the  birth  of  Athena  from  the  head  of 

10.  Coin  of  Athens ,  fifth  century  B.C.;  head  of  Athena,  oivl 

Zeus.    The  minute  figure  of  the  goddess  with  shield 
and  spear  still  rests  on  the  head  of  the  seated  Zeus; 

II.  Late  red-figured  krater  made  in  Italy  ;  Athena  and  Marsyas 


behind  him  is  Apollo  playing  the  lyre,  and  at  the  left  is 
Hermes;  in  front  of  Zeus  is  a  woman  with  flesh  parts 
painted  white  and  an  armed  warrior,  perhaps  the  god- 
dess of  child-birth  and  Ares,  god  of  war. 

The  invention  of  the  double  flute  is  attributed  to  Mar- 
syas,  a  satyr  of  Lydia.  With  the  name  of  Marsyas  are 
associated  two  legends,  the  story  of  his  presumption  in 
daring  to  match  his  music  with  Apollo's  and  its  horrid 
penalty,  and  the  story  of  Athena's  experiment  with  the 
new  musical  instrument.  The  carelessly  drawn  scene  in 
the  vase  (Fig.  ii)  represents  the  latter  story.  Athena  is 
blowing  the  flute,  while  Marsyas  holds  up  a  mirror  to 
show  how  the  effort  distorts  her  face,  and  other  satyrs  are 
present  to  see  her  throw  away  the  instrument  in  dis- 

A  cast  of  the  so-called  Lemnian  Athena  (head  in  Bologna, 
body  in  Dresden)  gives  a  clear  idea  of  Pheidias'  method 
of  representing  the  goddess.  A  cast  of  the  "Varvakeion 
Athena,"  a  rude  small  copy  of  the  gold  and  ivory  Athena 
of  the  Parthenon,  is  also  in  the  Court  of  Casts. 


Exercet  Diana  chores,  quam  mille  secutae 

hinc  atque  hinc  glomerantur  oreades;  ilia  pharetram 

fert  umero  gradiensque  deas  supereminet  omnis. 

Virg.  .En.  i,  499-501. 

Diana  leads  her  dancing  bands,  and  following  her  a  thousand  moun- 
tain-nymphs cluster  on  this  side  and  that.  She  wears  a  quiver  on  her 
shoulder,  and  as  she  walks  towers  above  all  the  goddesses. 

Apollo,  in  later  times  associated  with  the  sun,  was  the 
god  of  purity  and  light,  and  the  god  of  inspiration.   As 



the  god  of  light ,^  the  patron  of  youth,  and  the  protector 

of  flocks,  he  was  often 
represented  with  the 
bow  and  arrow  as  an 
archer.  As  the  god 
of  inspiration  he  was 
the  patron  of  proph- 
ets and  oracles,  es- 
pecially the  oracle  at 
Delphi,  and  the  pa- 
tron of  music  who 
led  the  choir  of  the 
Muses.  In  sculpture 
he  was  represented 
as  a  youth  in  the 
prime  of  his  power. 

On  the  toilet  box 
(Fig.  12)  he  sits  hold- 
ing the  lyre,  attended 
by  six  Muses  with 
musical  instruments, 
of  which  only  two  are 
shown.  The  scene  is 
drawn  in  outline  on  a 
white  ground,  a  tech- 
nique not  common 
except  for  lekythoi. 
Apollo  and  Artemis  were  both  children  of  Leto.  Arte- 
mis represented  the  ideal  of  young  womanhood  as  Apollo 

13.  Red-figured  oinochoe  or  pitcher;  Apollo 
and  Artemis 


of  young  manhood,  and  later  Artemis  was  associated 
with  the  moon  as  Apollo  was  associated  with  the  sun. 
Artemis  was  also  a  huntress  with  bow  and  arrow;  in 
this  aspect  she  was  the  leader  of  the  nymphs  and  like 
them  closely  associated  with  wild  life  in  nature.  On  the 
somewhat   rudely  painted   vase   (Fig.   13)  Apollo  with 

14.    Head  of  Artemis;   marble,  fifth 
century  B.C. 

quiver  and  lyre  stands  between  a  column  (which  stands 
for  a  temple)  and  an  altar,  while  Artemis  with  bow  and 
quiver  stands  opposite  him,  pouring  a  libation  on  the 
altar.  Apparently  the  act  of  worship  was  idealized  by 
representing  the  gods  as  engaged  in  worship. 


This  head  (Fig.  14)  adorned  with  a  simple  wreath  of 
flowers  probably  represents  Artemis,  one  of  whose  attrib- 
utes was  a  garland  of  flowers.  The  head  is  poised  well 
forward,  giving  an  expression  of  alertness;  the  vivacity 
of  expression  was  doubtless  increased  by  the  eyes,  which 
were  of  another  material.  We  may  think  of  it  as  belong- 
ing to  a  statue  of  Artemis,  the  huntress,  with  bow  and 

The  "Apollo  Belvedere"  in  the  Vatican,  the  "Artemis  of 
Versailles"  and  the  "Artemis  from  Gabii"  in  the  Louvre 
are  represented  by  casts  on  the  large  court. 


Hinc  mater  cultrix  Cybeli  Corybantiaque  aera 
Idseumque  nemus;  hinc  fida  silentia  sacris, 
et  iuncti  currum  dominae  subiere  leones. 

Virg.  .^n.  Ill,  111-13. 

Hence  came  the  Mother  that  dwelleth  on  Cybele  and  the  brazen  cym- 
bals of  Corybantes  and  Ida's  grove,  hence  the  rites  wrapt  in  faithful  silence, 
and  hence  the  yoked  lions  drew  the  chariot  of  their  mistress. 

Rhea  in  Crete  and  Cybele  in  Asia  Minor  are  names  for 
the  great  mother  of  the  gods  (magna  mater  Idaea)  who 
seems  to  represent  mother  earth.  The  goddess  of  nature 
life,  she  was  worshipped  in  wild  mountainous  regions 
with  wild  rites,  and  wild  animals,  ^like  hons,  followed  in 
her  train  or  drew  her  car.  In  connection  with  the  worship 
of  Cybele  the  death  and  rebirth  of  vegetable  life  was 
celebrated  in  the  unrestrained  rites  of  Attis  under  the 
symbol  of  a  fir  tree. 

The  marble  statue  (Fig.  15)  is  probably  to  be  identified 


with  Cybele.  Though  throne  and  head  and  arms  are 
missing,  the  dignified  matronly  figure  well  represents  the 
conception  of  Cybele,  mother  of  the  gods,  as  refined  and 
ennobled  by  the  Athenians.  The  graceful  terra-cotta 
figure  of  Cybele  riding  on  a  lion  represents  a  totally 

I  J.  Cybele;  colossal  marble  statue,  about  joo  B.C. 



different  conception;  it  is  quite  without  religious  mean- 
ing, and  represents  rather  a  graceful  conceit  suggested 
as  an  artistic  theme  by  the  story  of  Cybele. 

i6.  Terra-cotta  figurine  from  Asia  Minor,  late  third 
century  B.C. ;  Cybele  riding  on  a  lion 




Sic  cunctus  pelagi  cecidit  fragor,  lequora  postquam 
prospicicns  genitor,  caeloque  invectus  apcrto, 
flcctit  equos,  curruque  volans  dat  lora  secundo. 

Virg.  JEn.  i,  154-56. 

So  all  the  tumult  of  the  sea  subsides  as  the  Sire,  surveying  the  waters 
and  borne  along  under  an  open  sky,  guides  his  steeds,  and  speeding  on 
gives  free  rein  to  his  flying  chariot. 

Poseidon  was  the  god  who  ruled  spirits  of  water  and 
sea  as  Zeus  ruled  the  divinities  of  earth  and  sky.    The 

17.  Coin  of  Poseidonia,  sixth  century  B.C.  ;  Poseidon  with  trident 

brother  of  Zeus,  he  resembled  him  in  many  ways  so  that 
the  statues  of  the  two  gods  cannot  always  be  distin- 
guished. But  something  of  the  wild,  unstable  nature  of 
the  sea,  its  power  and  its  treachery,  are  reflected  in  the 
character  of  the  sea  deities. 

The  city  of  Poseidonia  (Paestum)  was  named  for  Po- 
seidon, its  patron  god.  On  its  coins  he  is  represented 
advancing  with  his  trident  raised  as  if  to  be  hurled  as 
a  weapon.    The  trident  was  originally  a  three-pronged 


instrument  for  spearing  fish;  as  such  it  was  the  natural 
symbol  of  the  divine  rulers  of  the  sea. 

This  bronze,  made  in  Roman  times,  reproduces  the 

i8.  Small  bronze  statuette  of 
Poseidon ;  Roman  period 

Greek  conception  of  Poseidon  or  Zeus  as  ruler  among  the 
gods.  Perhaps  the  dramatic  attitude  and  the  treatment 
of  face  and  hair  may  mean  that  it  was  Poseidon,  for  the 
benign  side  of  the  character  of  Zeus  is  not  suggested. 




Dixit,  cumquc  imis  sub  tluctibus  audiit  omnis 
Nereidum  Phorcique  chorus  Panopcaque  xirgo, 

Virg.  ^n.  V,  239-40. 

He  spake,  and  deep  l)eneath  the  waves  the  whole  band  of  the  Nereids 
and  of  Phorcus  heard  him,  and  the  maiden  Panopea. 

Of  the  spirits  of  the  sea  some 
were  kindly  to  man,  some  hostile. 
The  Nereids  were  sea-nymphs 
who  embodied  for  the  Greek 
mind  the  playfulness  of  the  sea. 
On  the  gold  seal  ring,  of  which 
the  design  is  here  reproduced,  a 
Nereid  is  seen  riding  on  a  sea- 

IQ.  Gold  seal  ring,  Athens, 
Jift h  cent ury  B. C . ;  Ne- 
reid on  a  sea-horse 


At  Scyllam  caecis  cohibet  spelunca  latebris 
era  exertantem  et  navis  in  saxa  trahentem. 
Prima  hominis  facies  et  pulchro  pectore  virgo 
pube  tenus,  postrema  immani  corpore  pistrix 
delphinum  caudas  utero  commissa  luporum. 

Virg.  .^n.  Ill,  424-28. 

But  a  cave  confines  Scylla  in  its  dark  lurking-places,  thrusting  out  her 
mouths  and  dragging  ships  upon  the  rocks.  Above  she  is  of  human  shape, 
a  fair-bosomed  maiden  to  the  waist;  below,  a  huge  sea-monster,  with  a 
dolphin's  tail  set  in  the  belly  of  a  wolf. 

Another  side  of  the  nature  of  the  sea,  its  treachery  and 
cruelty,  was  represented  by  Scylla,  that  monster  with  six 
long   necks  and  six  heads  which  snatched  six  of  Odys- 


seus'  companions  from  his  ship  as  he  guided  his  course 
to  avoid  the  whirlpool  of  Charybdis.  On  the  vase  be- 
low the  plastic  figure  of  Scylla  is  attached  as  an  orna- 
ment to  the  painted  body. 

20.  Late  vase  made  in  Italy ;  Scylla 

PH  ART  HON  31 


Helios  was  the  name  both  for  the  actual  sun  and  for 
the  god  of  the  sun.  As  a  god  he  was  rarely  worshipped 
except  in  Rhodes,  where  he  was  the  patron  god  of  the 

21.  Coin  of  Rhodes,  fourth  cetttury  B.C. ;  head  of  Helios,  rose 

island.  The  heads  of  Helios  on  coins  of  Rhodes  shows 
the  sun-god  with  youthful  face  and  long  locks  of  hair 
blown  loose  as  by  the  wind  in  his  rapid  course  across 
the  sky. 


At  Phaethon,  rutilos  flamma  populante  capillos, 
volvitur  in  praeceps,  longoque  per  aera  tractu 

Ovid,  Metam.  11,  319-20. 

But  Phaethon,  his  auburn  hair  all  ablaze,  is  rolled  headlong,  and  falls 
in  a  long  course  through  the  air. 

Phaethon  is  known  in  myth  as  the  son  of  Helios, 
who  persuaded  his  father  to  let  him  drive  the  sun's 
chariot.    The  disastrous  result  is  told  by  Ovid  (Meta- 



morphoses,  ii,  i  /.)•  The  scene  is  found  on  a  Roman  vase 
mould  here  figured. 


i^:  \mPt 

K."    :'•    ;.4 




X     ' 

22.  Arretine  pottery  mould;  death  of  Phaethon 


Roseis  Aurora  quadrigis 
iar.i  medium  aetherio  cursu  traiecerat  axem. 

Virg.  .^n.  VI,  535-36. 

Aurora  in  her  rosy  chariot  had 
already  crossed  mid-heaven  in  her 
course  through  the  sky. 

Eos  or  Aurora,  goddess 
of  the  dawn,  also  rides  in  a 
chariot  like  that  of  the  sun. 
Beautiful  young  hunters 
fell  in  love  with  the  dawn, 
when  they  sought  their 
prey,  and  one  of  these, 
Tithonus,  became  her  hus- 

2 J.  Roman  cameo;  Aurora  driving 
a  higa 


band.    The  story  of  their  son   Memnon  comes  in   the 
legend  of  Troy. 


Dona  fero-  Cereris,  latos  quae  sparsa  per  agros 
frugiferas  messes,  alimentaque  mitia  rcddant, 

Ovid,  Metam.  v,  655-56. 

I  bring  the  gifts  of  Ceres,  that,  scattered  over  the  broad  fields,  they 
may  give  back  fruitful  harvests  and  wholesome  sustenance. 

Demeter  also  was  a  goddess  of  mother  earth,  wor- 
shipped in  Greece  rather  than  in  Asia  Minor,  and  con- 

24.  Votive  mask  of  terra-cotta,  late  fifth  century  B.C. ; 

bust  of  Demeter 


ceived  specifically  as  the  goddess  of  the  grain  which  the 
earth  bears.  Since  the  earth  receives  bodies  of  the  dead 
in  burial,  she  was  also  associated  with  the  souls  of  the 
dead,  in  that  through  her  peculiar  worship  (the  Mysteries) 
men  might  find  assurance  of  a  blessed  life  after  death. 

The  terra-cotta  here  represented  is  described  as  a  mask 
because  it  is  a  thin  sheet  of  clay  fashioned  to  give  orily 

2§.  Coin  of  Delphi,  fourth  century  B.C. ;  Demcter  veiled 
and  with  wreath  of  grain,  Apollo  seated  on  omphalus 

the  front  of  the  figure,  and  as  a  votive  mask  because  it 
was  no  doubt  a  votive  offering  which  some  worshipper 
set  up  in  a  temple  of  Demeter.  The  position  of  the  hands 
and  the  high  crown  were  associated  in  early  times  with 
this  mother  goddess.  The  work  is  striking  for  the  vivid 
coloring  which  remains  on  eyes  and  lips. 

Persephone,  as  daughter  of  Demeter  and  wife  of  Hades, 
king  of  the  dead,  constituted  the  link  between  this  world 
and  the  world  of  souls.  She  passed  part  of  each  year  with 
her  husband,  so  the  story  runs,  and  part  with  her  mother. 
Thus  the  Greek  thought  of  vegetation  as  dying  in  the 
heat  of  summer  and  reborn  from  the  earth  with  the  win- 
ter rains  became  associated  with  her.   In  the  vase  paint- 


'1  iiili  ■liiffii'SlBiii  J 

2<5.  Red-figured  vase;  Persephone  rising  from  the  ground 

ing  here  shown  the  satyrs  are  demons  of  nature  dancing 
to  bring  back  vegetation  to  Hfe,  and  Persephone  as  god- 
dess of  vegetable  hfe  is  rising  from  the  ground  in  response 
to  their  worship. 

A  cast  of  the  large  Eleusinian  relief  in  the  court  gives  a 
fine  conception  of  Demeter  handing  a  sheaf  of  grain  to  the 
boy  Triptolemus.  while  Persephone  places  a  wreath  on  his 


Though  the  grain  was  Demeter's  gift,  the  god  of  plant 
life  in  general  was  Dionysus.  And  as  the  spirit  of  life 
which  caused  all  vegetation  to  grow  seemed  to  be  present 
in  wine  in  a  form  for  men  to  taste  and  feel  its  power,  the 
vine  was  the  special  gift  and  symbol  of  Dionysus.   The 



27.  Coin  of  Naxos  in  Sicily,  fifth  century  B.C.  ;  head  of  Dionysus, 

Satyr  drinking 

Naxians  paid  special  honor  to  the  giver  of  their  good 

wine,  and  as  their  guardian  deity  his  head  was  stamped 

on  their  coins. 

A  cast  of  the  youthful  Dionysus  wearing  a  fawn  skin  is  to 
be  found  in  the  large  Cast  Court. 

28.  Bronze  statuette,  sixth  cen- 
tury B.C.;  Hermes  with  ram 


In  Greek  thought  Hermes 
was  the  god  of  clever  cunning 
who  was  the  patron  of  trade 
and  the  discoverer  of  the  lyre, 
and  at  the  same  time  the  god  of 
travellers  both  in  this  world  and 
also  in  man's  last  journey  to  the 
world  below.  In  early  times  he 
was  conceived  as  a  man  in  the 
prime  of  life,  but  from  the  fifth 
century  on  he  took  the  form  of 
a  youth  and  his  statues  were 
set  up  in  gymnasiums  to  repre- 
sent the  ideal  of  youngmanhood. 


The  archaic  small  bronze  figured  above,  a  votive  offer- 
ing to  Hermes,  protector  of  the  flocks,  illustrates  the 
earlier  conception  of  the  god.  He  wears  a  close-fitting 
chiton,  a  round  hat,  and  high  boots;  in  his  right  hand  he 
once  held  a  stall,  and  he  carries  a  young  ram  under  his 

2g.  Groeco-Roman  marble;  Hermes  (type  of  fourth  century  B.C.) 

JO.  Intaglio  gem,  Hellen- 
istic period;  Hermes 
with  lyre 


arm.    It  is  in  striking  contrast  with  the  marble  (Fig.  29), 

which  repre- 
sents him  as 
a  youth  and 
in  an  attitude 
of  melancholy 
revery.  Possi- 
bly the  artist 
had  in  mind 
his  function 
as  conductor 
of  souls  to  the 
world  below; 

more  probably  he  thought  of  Her- 
mes as  the  ideal  representative  of 

youth,  and  in  an  age  when  young 

men  were   given  to  thought  and 

pleasure  rather  than  to  action.  The 

spirit  of   the   age  is   shown   in   a 

statue  of  this  type, 

A    charming    representation    of 

Hermes    with  the    lyre  which    he 

invented  is  seen  on   a   gem.    The 

common   attribute  of  Hermes  was 

his  wand  (kerykeion,  caduceus). 

ji.  Bronze  and  iron 

The  Hermes  with  the  infant  Dionysus  by  Praxiteles  is 
represented  by  a  cast  in  the  court. 

JTv  J 





32.  Bronze  mirror  handle,  about  500  B.C. ;  Aphrodite  and  Erotcs 




Dixit,  et  avertens  rosea  cervice  refulsit, 
ambrosiaeque  comae  divinum  vertice  odorem 
spiravere;  pedes  vestis  defluxit  ad  imos, 
et  vera  incessu  patuit  dea. 

Virg.  JEn.  i,  402-05. 

She  spake,  and  as  she  turned  away  she  burst  forth  in  splendor  with 
rosy  neck  and  her  ambrosial  hair  breathed  forth  the  fragrance  of  the  gods, 
her  robe  flowed  down  to  her  very  feet,  and  she  was  revealed  a  true  god- 
dess by  her  gait. 

Aphrodite  was  the  goddess  of  love,  the  goddess  of  hu- 
man love  worshipped  by  beautiful  women,  and  at  the 
same  time  the  goddess  that  presided  over  the  reproduc- 
tion of  animal  life  and  of  germinating  vegetation.  The 
story  that  she  was  born  from  the  sea  suggests  that  her 
worship  came  over  the  sea  from  an  Oriental  source.  She 
was  attended  by  Eros  (Love)  or  a  group  of  Erotes,  who 

carried  now  a  lyre  for  love 
music,  now  a  bow  and  arrow  to 
pierce  the  heart  of  the  victim. 
The  archaic  bronze  mirror 
handle  shown  on  page  39  rep- 
resents the  goddess  clad  in 
the  rich,  clinging  garments  of 
Ionic  art.  Two  flying  Cupids 
on  her  shoulder  serve  to  sup- 
port the  yoke  which  held  a  cir- 
cular mirror  of  polished  bronze , 
while  their  glances  focus  atten- 
„,,.,,,,      .     ,,  tionon  the  face  of  the  goddess. 

jj.  Flastic  lekythos,  joiirtn  cen- 

tury  B.C. ;  birth  of  A phrodite  The  birth  of  Aphrodite  from 



34.  Marble  head  of  Aphrodite,  fourth  century  B.C. 

the  sea  was  symbolized  in  art  by  representing  her  as 
emerging  from  the  open  valves  of  a  sea-shell.  This  vase 
is  almost  hidden  by  the  plastic  ornament  attached  to 
it.  The  newborn  goddess  is  rising  from  the  shell,  while 
hovering  Cupids  who  hold  the  garment  behind  her  give 
an  upward  movement  to  the  whole  group. 



The  fine  oval  shape  of  the  face,  the  deHcate  modelHng, 
and  the  expressive  features  show  that  the  beautiful  head 
(Fig.  34)  is  the  work  of  an  Attic  master  of  the  school  of 
Praxiteles.  The  nature  of  the  goddess  of  love  is  empha- 
sized by  the  pose  of  the  head,  the  relaxed  mouth,  and  the 
half-open  eyes.  This  head  is  one  of  the  finest  examples 
of  ancient  sculpture  in  existence.  The  translucent  crys- 
talline quality  of  the  marble  adds  much  to  its  beauty. 

35.  Terra-cotta  figurines  from  Myrina,  second  century  B.C.; 

Erotes  or  Cupids 

The  figurine  at  the  left  represents  the  infant  god  in  the 
lion's  skin  of  Heracles,  a  whimsical  fancy  characteristic 
of  the  Hellenistic  age.  The  spirited  example  at  the  right 
shows  another  small  Eros  in  the  act  of  drawing  a  sword. 

The  allegory  of  Cupid  and  Psyche,  of  love  and  the 
human  soul  under  the  power  of  love,  found  great  favor  in 
later  antiquity.    In  this  scene  Cupids,  playing  as  grown- 



up  people,  are  engaged  at  a  wedding.  A  sturdy  torch- 
bearer  leads  Cupid  and  Psyche  by  a  lillet;  both  the  Cupid 
bridegroom,  who  carries 
a  dove  of  Venus,  and 
Psyche  his  bride  wear 
the  marriage  veil.  At 
the  left  a  Cupid  holds 
a  basket  of  fruits  over 
their  heads  and  at  the 
right  another  Cupid 
stands  by  the  marriage 

Such  cameos,  or  rep- 
resentations in  relief  en- 
graved in  precious  stones,  were  much  prized  by  the  Ro- 
mans. This  celebrated  example  is  carved  in  sardonyx  with 
a  coffee-brown  layer  for  the  figures  over  a  black  layer 
for  the  background.     It  is  signed  by  the  artist  Tryphon. 

A  cast  of  the  Aphrodite  from  Melos  stands  in  the  lecture- 
hall  lobby,  and  in  the  large  court  is  a  cast  of  the  Praxitelean 
Aphrodite  in  the  Vatican. 

j6.  GrcBco-Roman  cameo;  wedding  of 
Cupid  and  Psyche 


Ares  was  an  impetuous  god  of  war,  quite  unlike  Athena 

the  goddess  of  bravery  and  generalship  in  war.    The 

Roman  Mars  was  a  much  more  important  deity  than  the 

Greek  Ares,  being  only  second  to  Jupiter  himself. 

Casts  of  the  Ares  Borghese  in  the  Louvre  and  of  the  Ares 
Ludovisi  in  the  Terme  Museum  in  Rome  are  to  be  found  in 
the  large  court. 




Hephaestus,  himself  the  lame  smith  among  the  gods, 
was  the  god  of  fire  and  of  human  smiths.  He  was  the  son 
of  Zeus  and  Hera.  Such  was  his  cunning  that,  the  poets 
said,  he  could  construct  bronze  figures  which  were  able 
to  walk.  Perhaps  because  of  the  charm  of  his  work  he 
received  Aglaia  one  of  the  Graces  for  his  wife.  On  a  vase 
painting  (p.  71)  he  is  depicted  making  new  armor  for 


Of  the  Roman  gods  not 
identified  with  Greek  gods 
the  most  important  was  Ja- 
nus, the  doorkeeper  or  ''jani- 
tor." As  the  god  of  begin- 
nings he  was  worshipped 
each  morning,  at  the  opening 
of  a  new  year,  and  before  any 
important  undertaking  such 
as  the  harvest  or  a  marriage 
or  a  war.  His  head  in  a  me- 
dallion on  the  lamp  figured 
below  is  double-faced,  for 
the  anniversary  looks  both 
backward  and  forward,  and 
crowned  with  laurel  to  sug- 
gest the  good  wishes  that  go 

37.  Roman  terra-cotta  lamp;         <_>  «j  o 

head  of  Janus  With  a  New  Year's  gift. 


10  ;   DANAE  ;    PERSEUS  ;    MEDUSA 

The  story  of  lo  is  illustrated  on  the  red-figured  vase 
figured  below.  lo,  beloved  of  Zeus,  was  changed  into  a 
heifer  by  the  jealous  Hera  and  driven  hither  and  yon  by 
Argus  who  never  closed  all  his  eyes  at  once  in  sleep,  till 
the  latter  was  slain  by  Hermes  at  the  behest  of  Zeus.  In 

38.  Red-figured  vase  painting,  from  a  hydria;  Hermes  about  to  slay  Argus 

the  vase  painting  the  many-eyed  Argus  turns  back  from 
the  running  heifer  (lo)  to  defend  himself  from  the  sword 
of  Hermes ;  before  the  heifer  is  a  priestess  with  the  temple 
key;  the  column  and  altar  of  Hera's  temple  are  seen,  and 
at  each  end  of  the  scene  a  spectator  raises  his  hands  in 
horror  or  surprise. 

Nor  when  (I  loved)  Danae  of  the  fair  ankles,  daughter  of  Acrisius,  who 
bore  Perseus  most  renowned  of  all  men. 

Iliad,  XIV,  319-20. 



Danae,  a  descendant  of  lo,  also  attracted  the  love  of 
Zeus.  She  had  been  shut  up  in  an  underground  chamber 
of  brass  because  her  father  Acrisius  had  been  told  by  the 

jp.  Red-figured  hydria,  early  fifth  century  B.C. ;  carpenter 
preparing  the  chest  for  Dana'e  and  Perseus 


oracle  that  he  would  die  at  the  hands  of  her  son,  but 
no  underground  chamber  could  keep  out  the  shower  of 
golden  sunlight  sent  by  Zeus.  And  when  a  son  was  born 
to   her,  Acrisius   shut  mother  and  son  in  a  chest  and 

r'rrr^'ry.rrr.-rg?^"  -^^^g^^^^^:ga'^^^^^^A':  vhaiimXirfTrv^Tf^.  xfe".:  •■■•^7?>^}^'''b^"-— t-"",  -->-'"^-— - 










40.  iJ/ac^  Clip  with  stamped  figures,  fourth  century  B.C.  ;  Perseus 

and  Medusa 

launched  it  on  the  sea  to  bear  them  to  destruction.  In 
the  vase  painting  a  carpenter  is  finishing  the  chest  under 
the  direction  of  Acrisius;  at  the  right  is  Danae  and  the 
infant  Perseus;  and  before  her  stands  a  woman,  prob- 
ably Danae's  mother,  raising  her  hand  as  if  in  protest. 
Saved    from    the    sea    and    adopted   by   Polydectes, 



Perseus  was  sent  by  his  rescuer  to  get  the  head  of  the 
Gorgon  Medusa.  With  the  aid  of  Athena  and  Hermes 
he  accompHshed  his  task,  and  by  exposing  the  Gorgon's 
head  he  turned  to  stone  the  man  who  had  sought  to  de- 
stroy him  by  sending  him  on  such  an  errand.  On  a  black 

41.  Bronze  handle,  sixth  century,  B.C. ;  head  oj  Medusa 



cup  with  impressed  ligures  Perseus  is  depicted  on  one 
side,  setting  out  with  Athena  and  Hermes;  on  the  other 
side,  Pegasus  rises  from  the  neck  of  the  fallen  Medusa 
and  the  other  Gorgons  are  hurrying  in  pursuit  of  Perseus. 
The  head  of  Medusa,  with  snake-like  locks  and  tongue 
protruding  from  her  open  mouth,  is  the  decoration  used 
for  the  bottom  of  the  handle  of  a  bronze  vessel. 

Ora  Medusae 
Gorgonis  anguineis  cincta  fuisse  cornis. 

Ovid,  Trist.  iv,  vii,  ii. 

The  face  of  the,  Gorgon  Medusa  was  encircled  with  snaky  locks. 


Bellerophon,  driven  from  the  throne  of  Corinth  by  the 
King  of  Tiryns,  was  sent  to  Lycia  (Iliad,  vi,  155/.)  and 
there  tasks  were  assigned  him  which  might  lead  to  his 
death.  The  first  of  these  tasks  was  to  slay  the  dread 
Chimaera  ''in  front  a  lion,  and  behind  a  serpent,  and  in 

42.  Proto-Corinthian  vase,  seventh  century  B.C. ;  Bellerophon  attacking 

the  Chimccra 



the  midst  a  goat,  and  she  breathed  dread  fierceness  of 
blazing  fire."  This  he  accompUshed  by  the  aid  of  Pega- 
sus, the  winged  horse  born  from  the  neck  of  the  dying 
Medusa.  The  scene  is  depicted  in  miniature  on  a  very 
small  vase,  Bellerophon  on  Pegasus  attacking  the  Chi- 


According  to  the  myths  of  Crete,  Europa,  a  princess 
descended  from  lo  and  living  in  Phoenicia,  attracted  the 


4 J.  Black-figured  amphora,  sixth  century  B.C. ;  Europa  on  the  bull 


love  of  Zeus.  Zeus  assumed  the  form  of  a  bull,  persuaded 
her  to  mount  his  back,  and  bore  her  away  over  the  sea  to 
Crete  where  he  wedded  her.  In  the  vase  painting  Europa 
is  seen  riding  on  the  divine  bull. 

Minos,  one  of  the  sons  of  Europa  and  Zeus,  married 
Pasiphae,  daughter  of  Helios.  In  answer  to  his  prayer 
Poseidon  sent  him  a  white  bull  for  sacrifice ;  the  bull  was 

44.  Coin  of  Cnossos  in  Crete,  fourth  century  B.C. ;    head  of  Hera, 


SO  beautiful,  however,  that  Minos  kept  it  alive;  and  to 
punish  him  for  his  cupidity  Poseidon  caused  the 
Minotaur,  a  monster  with  body  of  a  man  and  head  of 
a  bull,  to  ravage  the  land.  A  labyrinth  "with  more 
windings  than  the  river  Maeander"  was  constructed  to 
confine  this  creature,  and  its  prey  was  tribute  brought 
from  the  wide  domains  of  Minos,  eventually  a  tribute  of 
seven  youths  and  seven  maidens  from  Athens.  The 
labyrinth  is  represented  on  the  coins  of  Cnossos  in  Crete. 
The  bull  sent  by  Poseidon  appears  in  the  story  of 
Heracles,  and  the  Minotaur  in  the  story  of  Theseus. 


When  Zeus  carried  off  Europa,  he  caused  her  brother 
Cadmus  to  be  sent  in  search  of  her  and  eventually  to 
found  the  city  of  Thebes.  One  of  his  grandsons  was  the 
noble  youth  Actaeon,  favorite  of  Artemis  and  her  com- 

45.  Red-figured  krater,  about  450  B.C. ;  death  of  ActcBon 

panionin  the  chase.  Reoffended  the  goddess,  however, — 
according  to  one  story,  because  he  beheld  her  bathing  in 
a  secluded  pool,  — so  that  she  transformed  him  into  a  stag 
and  he  was  devoured  by  his  own  hounds.  The  vase  paint- 
ing in  this  instance  represents  Artemis  as  drawing  her  bow 
to  shoot  Actaeon  as  he  falls  under  the  savage  attack  of 
his  dogs. 




And  I  saw  the  mother  of  (Edipus,  fair  Epicaste,  who  wrought  a  dread 
deed  unwittingly,  being  wedded  to  her  own  son,  and  he  that  had  slain  his 
own  father  wedded  her. 

Odyssey,  xi,  271-73. 

Theban  legend  centres  about  the  story  of  (Edipus. 
Exposed  to  die  as  a  babe,  rescued  and  brought  up  in 

46.  Red-figured  amphora;  (Edipus  atid  the  Sphinx 

Corinth,  he  fled  that  city  to  avoid  the  oracle  which 
said  he  should  kill  his  father  and  marry  his  mother, 
an  oracle  which  he  actually  fulfilled  at  Thebes.  The 
vase  painting  represents  him  before  the  Sphinx  whose 
riddle  he  solved  and  thus  rid  Thebes  of  the  monster. 




Sanguine  et  igne  micant  oculi,  riget  ardua  cervix; 
et  setae  densis  similes  hastilibus  horrent; 
fervida  cum  rauco  latos  stridore  per  armos 
spuma  fluit;  dentes  aequantur  dentibus  Indis; 
fulmen  ab  ore  venit;  frondes  adflatibus  ardent. 

Ovid,  Metam.  viii,  284-89. 

With  blood  and  fire  his  eyes  gleam,  his  rough  neck  is  stiff;  the  bristles 
too,  like  close-set  spears  stand  erect;  with  a  hoarse  noise  bubbling  foam 
streams  down  his  broad  shoulders;  his  tusks  rival  the  tusks  of  India; 
lightning  issues  from  his  mouth;  the  foliage  is  burned  up  with  the 

Q^neus,  King  of  Calydon,  in  /Etolia  offended  Artemis 
by  failing  to  include  her  with  the  other  gods  in  his  sacri- 

47.  Bronze  mirror  case,  Greek,  fourth  century  B.C.  ; 
Calydon ian  boar  hunt 


fices;  angry  at  such  neglect  she  sent  a  mighty  boar  to 
devastate  the  crops.  The  hunt  for  this  boar  was  cele- 
brated for  the  heroes  who  took  part  in  it  —  Theseus, 
Jason,  Peleus,  father  of  Achilles,  etc.  —  and  for  the  story 
of  Meleager  and  Atalanta  which  was  associated  with  it. 
Meleager,  son  of  Qineus,  killed  the  boar,  but  because  of 
his  love  for  Atalanta  he  adjudged  the  prize  to  her  on  the 
ground  that  she  had  first  wounded  it.  This  act  led  to  the 
quarrels  with  his  cousins  on  his  mother's  side,  and  to  his 
death  when  his  mother  burned  the  fateful  brand  on 
which  his  life  depended.  The  boar  on  an  early  Rhodian 
plate  was  possibly  painted  with  this  story  in  mind.  On 
the  mirror  case  (Fig.  47)  are  seen  figures  in  high  re- 
lief, two  youths  with  flying  garments  and  spears  raised 
to  strike  the  boar  which  raises  its  head  to  attack  the 
youth  in  front. 


Tu  nubigenas,  Invicte,  bimembris 
Hylceumque  Pholumque,  manu,  tu  Cresia  mactas 
prodigia  et  vastum  Nemeae  sub  rupe  leonem. 
te  Stygii  tremuere  lacus,  te  ianitor  Orci 
ossa  super  recubans  antro  semesa  cruento; 
nee  te  ullae  facies,  non  terruit  ipse  T>T3hoeus, 
arduus  arma  tenens;  non  te  rationis  egentem 
Lernaeus  turba  capitum  circumstetit  anguis. 

\'irg.  /En.  viii,  293-300. 

'T  was  thou,  invincible,  whose  hand  laid  low 
The  cloud-born  Centaurs,  Pholus  and  H3daeus, 
The  Cretan  monsters,  and  the  lion  huge 
That  underneath  the  cliffs  of  Nemea  lay ! 
Before  thee  shrank  the  Styx;  the  janitor 
Of  hell  cowered  in  his  gory  cave,  and  left 


His  feast  of  bones  half  gnawed!  No  goblin  shape, 
Not  vast  Typhoeus'  self  with  levelled  sword 
Made  thee  afraid,  undaunted  still  though  snapped 
At  thee  the  Lerna  hydra's  hundred  heads! 

(Long's  translation.) 

The  deeds  of  Heracles  were  a  familiar  theme  for  story 
and  for  art.  The  favorite  son  of  Zeus,  he  was  persecuted 
by  the  jealous  Hera  who  made  him  subject  to  the  cow- 
ardly Eurystheus,  king  of  Tiryns,  but  in  the  labors  as- 

48.  Coin  of  Byzantium,  fourth  century  B.C.  ;  infant  Heracles 
strangling  serpents,  bull  on  dolphin 

signed  him  by  Eurystheus  he  had  the  constant  aid  of 
Athena.  As  a  babe  he  strangled  with  his  own  hands 
the  serpents  sent  by  Hera  to  destroy  him  in  his  cradle. 
Of  his  labors  for  Eurystheus  the  first  was  to  destroy  a 
lion  sent  by  Hera  to  ravage  the  mountains  near  Nemea. 
Its  skin,  so  tough  that  it  could  be  cut  only  by  its  own 
claws,  was  impenetrable  by  his  arrows,  but  by  the  aid 
of  Athena  he  first  stunned  the  creature  with  his  club 
and  then  strangled  it.  The  skin  he  later  wore  to  pro- 
tect him  in  his  labors.  In  his  hunt  for  the  Erymanthian 
boar  he  became  involved  in  a  battle  with  the  centaurs, 
a  scene  represented  on  the  frieze  of -a  temple  at  Assos. 


49.  Black-figured  amphora;  Heracles  strangling  the  Neniean  lion,  lolaus, 

and  Athena 




50.  Section  of  frieze  from  the  temple  at  Assos,  sixth  century  B.C. ;  Heracles 
shooting  an  arrow  at  the  flying  Centaurs 





— ^ 


































*  •» 










Another  labor  often  represented  by  the  vase  painter 
was  his  capture  of  the  Cretan  bull.  This  bull,  the  father 
of  the  Minotaur,  he  subdued  and  forced  it  to  carry  him 
on  its  back  across  the  sea  from  Crete  to  Tiryns. 

S3.  Small  archaic  Greek  bronze;  Heracles 
shooting  an  arrow 

Later  Heracles  was  sent  to  Thrace  to  bring  back  the 
girdle  of  Hippolyte,  Queen  of  the  Amazons.  The  girdle 
he  got  for  love,  but  before  he  escaped  he  was  attacked 
by  the  fierce  women  warriors  and  shot  Hippolyte  whom 
he  suspected  of  treachery. 

Cerberus  haec  ingens  latratu  regna  trifauci 
personal,  adverse  recubans  immanis  in  antro. 
cui  vates,  horrere  videns  iam  colla  colubris, 
melle  soporatam  et  medicatis  frugibus  offam 
obicit.  lUe  fame  rabida  tria  guttura  pandens 


corripit  obiectam  atque  immania  terga  resolvit 
fusus  humi  totoque  ingens  extenditur  antro. 

Virg.  JEn.  vi,  417-23. 

Here  howls  huge  Cerberus,  three  throats  at  once, 
And  makes  aU.  ring  again,  at  full  length  stretched 
Within  a  cave  that  guards  the  way.  To  whom, 
Soon  as  she  sees  the  snakes  about  his  neck 
Begin  to  squirm,  the  Sibyl  throws  a  loaf 
With  honey  and  with  drowsy  tinctures  soaked. 

The  hardest  task  of  all  was  to  bring  up  from  the  lower 
world  the  three-headed  dog  Cerberus  that  guarded  the 

54.  Red-figured  plate;  youthful  Heracles  dragging 
Cerberus,  attended  by  Hermes 

gates  of  the  dead,  but  this,  too,  he  accomplished  by  the 
aid  of  Athena  and  Hermes.  One  labor  not  mentioned  in 
literature  was  a  favorite  with  vase  painters,  the  contest 

^  ^ 


^   ?   =. 







of  Heracles  with  that  sea-monster  the  Triton;  in  this  ex- 
ample Heracles,  kneeling  over  the  creature's  fish-like  tail, 
struggles  to  master  its  human  arms. 

5J.  Terra-cotta  figure,  southern  Italy,  second  cen- 
tury B.C.;  Heracles  reclining  on  his  lion  skin 

Heracles  resting  from  his  labors,  his  big  muscles  weary 
with  the  tasks  a  hard  lot  had  assigned  him,  was  a  common 
theme  for  later  sculpture.  The  terra-cotta  figure  shown 
above  is  probably  a  copy  of  some  large  statue  in  bronze 
or  marble;  a  bronze  statue  of  Heracles  of  late  Greek 
workmanship  may  be  seen  in  the  balcony  of  the  classical 


Theseus  was  the  counterpart  of  Heracles  whom  the 
Athenians  specially  honored.  His  first  achievement  after 
being  recognized  as  the  son  of  i^geus.  King  of  Athens, 
was  to  free  the  Athenians  from  their  tribute  of  seven 
youths  and  seven  maidens  to  feed  the  Minotaur  in  Crete. 
The  Minotaur  he  slew  by  the  aid  of  Ariadne,  daughter  of 



Minos,  whom  he  carried  off  as  his  bride;  but,  like  Hera- 
cles fickle  in  his  affections,  he  deserted  her  on  the  island 

58.  Scene  on  the  shoulder  of  a  hlack-fignred  hydria  ;  Theseus  slaying 

the  Minotaur 

of  Naxos  halfway  back  to  Athens.    In  the  vase  painting 
below,  the  winged  Sleep  stands  over  Ariadne,  Athena  is 

58a.  Red-figured  vase  painting,  late  fifth  century  B.C.;   Theseus 

abandoning  Ariadne 



seated  in   the  background,   and  Theseus  is  hastening 
toward  the  prow  of  his  vessel. 

As  Heracles  fought  with  the  Centaurs,  so  Theseus  with 
his  friend  Peirithous  led  the  defense  of  the  Lapith  women 

5p.  Red-figured  kylix  signed  by  Aristophanes,  late 
fifth  century  B.C.;  Theseus  defending  a  Lapith 
woman  attacked  by  a  Centaur 

when  the  Thessalian  Centaurs  became  drunk  and  at- 
tacked them.  This  myth  furnished  the  theme  for  the 
metopes  of  the  Parthenon,  as  well  as  for  the  vase  painter. 

Ducit  Amazonidum  lunatis  agmina  peltis 
Penthesilea  furens  mediisque  in  milibus  ardet, 
aurea  subnectens  exertae  cingula  mammge, 
bellatrix,  audetque  viris  concurrere  virgo. 

Virg.  ^n.  I,  490-93- 



Fiery  Penthesilcia  leads  on  her  ranks 
Of  Amazons,  armed  with  their  crescent  shields; 
She  mid  the  host  burns  eager  for  the  fray, 
A  golden  zone  bound  'neath  her  swelling  breast, 
Warrior  and  maid,  she  dares  to  cope  with  men. 

(Long's  translation.) 

The  attack  on  Athens  by  the  Amazons  was  referred  to 
the  time  when  Theseus  was  king 
of  Athens.  The  Athenians  were 
driven  up  to  the  hill  of  Ares,  the 
Areopagus,  but  finally  they  won 
by  the  aid  of  the  Amazon  Queen 
Antiope  (or  Penthesileia)  who  fell 
in  love  with  Theseus.  In  the  vase 
painting  here  shown  Theseus  is 
fighting  with  Hippolyte;  that  is, 
if  the  vase  painter  gave  the  names 

60.  Red-figured  lekythos,  about  450  B.C.;  Theseus  and  two  companions 
in  conflict  with  Hippolyte  on  horseback  and  a  second  A  mazon  on  foot 


he  intended  to  give,  the  painting  represents  T|  is  as 
the  companion  of  Heracles  in  the  latter 's  eif  ^editit  "^ 
against  the  Amazons.  vT*"^ 

6i.  Fragment  of  marble  sculpture,  early  fourth  century  B.C.; 

Amazon  on  horseback 


Scenes  from  the  story  of  the  Trojan  War,  actual  illus- 
trations to  the  Iliad  or  Odyssey,  or  again  scenes  from 
episodes  not  treated  in  these  poems,  often  furnished  the 
theme  for  the  Greek  artist. 

The  abduction  of  Helen,  which  was  the  occasion  of  the 
war,  is  represented  on  one  side  of  a  splendid  vase  signed 
by  the  potter  Hieron  and  the  painter  Macron.  Paris 



62.  Scene  frotn  red-figured  howl  (skyphos),  about  460  B.C. ; 

abduction  of  Helen 

preceded  by  ^neas  leads  away  Helen,  while  Aphrodite 
throws  over  her  head  a  bridal  veil,  Eros  flies  before  her, 
and  Peitho,  goddess  of  Persuasion,  attends  Aphrodite. 

And  now  might  Aineias,  king  of  men,  have  perished,  but  that  Aphro- 
dite, daughter  of  Zeus,  was  swift  to  mark.  .  .  .  About  her  dear  son  wound 
she  her  white  arms,  and  spread  before  his  face  a  fold  of  her  radiant  ves- 
ture, to  be  a  covering  from  the  darts,  lest  any  of  the  fleet-horsed  Danaans 
might  hurl  the  spear  into  his  breast  and  take  away  his  life. 

Iliad,  V,  311/. 

6j.  Red-figured  krater,  about  450  B.C.;  Mneas  and  Diomedes 


The  duel  of  ^neas  and  Diomedes  (Iliad,  v,  297  /.)  is 
literally  represented  on  an  Attic  vase.  At  the  left  Athena 
stands  encouraging  Diomedes  in  his  attack  on  i^neas, 
while  at  the  right  i^neas,  wounded  by  the  spear,  falls 
into  the  arms  of  his  mother  Aphrodite. 

Stetimus  tela  aspera  contra 
contulimusque  manus:  experto  credite,  quantus 
in  clipeum  adsurgat,  quo  turbine  torqueat  hastam. 

Virg.  ^n.  XI,  282-84. 

I  have  stood  against  the  fury  of  his  weapon,  and  joined  hand  to  hand 
with  him  in  battle;  trust  one  who  knows  how  strong  is  his  onset  as  he 
rises  against  the  shield,  how  fierce  the  whirlwind  of  his  hurtling  lance. 

On  a  number  of  early  vases  is  found  the  representation 
of  Achilles  and  Ajax  playing  dice  or  checkers  in  the  pres- 
ence of  Athena.  They  are  seated  bending  over  a  low 
block,  their  shields  and  helmets  laid  aside  on  the  ground 
but  the  spears  still  in  their  hands.  On  the  vase  here 
shown  Achilles  says,  "I  put  down  four,"  and  Ajax,  ''I 
put  down  all,"  according  to  the  inscriptions  written  be- 
fore their  faces. 

And  Thersites  still  chattered  on,  the  uncontrolled  of  speech.  .  .  .  And 
he  was  ill-favored  beyond  all  men  that  came  to  Ilios.  Bandy-legged  was 
he,  and  lame  of  one  foot,  and  his  two  shoulders  rounded,  arched  down 
upon  his  chest;  and  over  them  his  head  was  warped,  and  a  scanty  stubble 
sprouted  on  it. 

Iliad,  II,  212,  216-19. 

On  one  of  the  large  decorative  vases  from  southern 
Italy  the  visit  of  the  aged  Phoenix  to  Achilles,  who  had 
withdrawn  to  his  tent  in  anger  (Iliad,  ix,  430/.),  is  de- 
picted in  the  centre;  gods  and  heroes  of  the  Trojan  War 



64.  Black- figured  lekythos;  Achilles,  Athena  \^f-p.—  a.  "^C^ 
atid  Ajax 



65.  Apulian  red-figured  amphora,  fourth  century  B.C.; 
visit  of  Phoenix  to  Achilles 

are  shown  on  either  side,  and  below  Hes  Thersites,  his 
head  severed  from  his  body. 


But  thou  take  from  Ilephaistos  arms  of  pride,  arms  passing  goodly 
such  as  no  man  on  his  shoulders  yet  hath  borne.  Thus  spake  the  goddess, 
and  in  front  of  Achilles  laid  the  arms. 

Iliad,  XIX,  10-13. 

An  earlier  vase  from  Athens  gives  the  making  of  new 
armor  for  Achilles  (Iliad,  xviii).  At  the  left  stands  Thetis 

66.  Rcd-figured  amphora,  about  450  B.C.  ;  HephcEstus  and  Thetis 

directing  the  work,  and  before  her  Hephaestus  bends  over 
the  shield  he  is  making ;  above  hang  the  helmet  and 
greaves,  and  also  some  of  Hephaestus'  tools  —  tongs, 
hammer,  and  bow-drill. 



Thereby  they  ran,  he  flying,  he  pursuing.  Valiant  was  the  flier,  but  far 
mightier  he  who  fleetly  pursued  him.  ...  So  thrice  around  Priam's  city 
circled  those  twain  with  flying  feet;  and  all  the  gods  were  gazing  on  them. 
Iliad,  XXII,  157-58,  165-66.         (Cf.  Virg.  lEn.  11,  270/.) 

A  much  mutilated  vase  once  showed  in  picturesque 
manner  the  pursuit  of  Hector  by  Achilles  before  the  walls 

67.  Red-figured  kylix,  about  4^0  B.C.;  Hector  and  Achilles  before  Troy 

of  Troy.  Hector  turns  to  hurl  his  spear  at  his  pursuer; 
the  gates  of  Troy  are  each  guarded  by  an  archer  shown 
in  black  on  red;  behind  the  battlements  are  seen  the  la- 
menting Hecuba  and  Priam;  and  apart  stands  Athena 
directing  Achilles  to  victory. 



Arripit  ensem, 
et,  Meus  hie  certe  est.  An  et  hunc  sibi  poscet  Ulixes? 
Hoc,  ait,  utendum  est  in  me  mihi,  quique  ruore 
saepe  Phrygum  maduit,  domini  nunc  caede  madebit; 
ne  quisquam  Aiacem  possit  superare,  nisi  Ajax. 
Dixit;  et  in  pectus,  turn  demum  vulnera  passum, 
qua  patuit  ferro,  letalem  condidit  ensem. 

Ovid,  Metam.  xiii,  386-92. 

He  seizes  his  sword  and  he  says,  "  This,  at  least,  is  my  own.   Or  will 
Ulysses  claim  this  too  for  himself?  This  must  I  use  against  myself;  and 

68.  Etruscan  bronze  mirror,  third  century  B.C.;  suicide  of  Ajax 


the  blade  which  has  often  been  wet  with  the  blood  of  the  Phrygians  will 
now  be  wet  with  the  slaughter  of  its  owner,  that  no  one  but  Ajax  himself 
may  be  enabled  to  conquer  Ajax."  Thus  he  said,  and  he  plunged  the  fatal 
sword  into  his  breast,  then  for  the  first  time  suffering  a  wound  where  it 
lay  exposed  to  the  steel. 

The  story  of  the  suicide  of  the  proud  Ajax  (Odyssey,  xi, 
543)  is  the  theme  drawn  in  incised  Hnes  on  the  back  of  an 
Etruscan  mirror.  Apparently  the  fallen  Ajax  is  drawing 
the  sword  from  his  side  with  his  left  hand  in  the  presence 
of  Athena,  who,  as  Sophocles  tells  the  story,  had  pro- 
tected the  Greek  leaders  from  the  mad  attack  of  Ajax. 

Hoc  dicens  altaria  ad  ipsa  trementem 
traxit  et  in  multo  lapsantem  sanguine  nati, 
implicuitque  coma  laevam,  dextraque  coruscum 
extulit  ac  lateri  capulo  tenus  abdidit  ensem. 

Virg.  .En.  11,  550-53. 

With  these  words  he  dragged  him  to  the  very  altar,  palsied  and  slipping 
in  a  pool  of  his  son's  blood,  twined  his  left  hand  in  his  hair,  and  with 
his  right  flashed  forth  the  sword  and  sheathed  it  to  the  hilt  in  his  side. 

The  fall  of  Troy  is  not  described  in  our  Iliad  and  Odys- 
sey, but  was  the  theme  of  later  Greek  epics  now  lost  and 
of  the  second  book  of  the  ^Eneid.  On  the  small  marble 
relief  here  shown,  Hecuba  kneels  on  an  altar  beside  Priam 
who  is  being  dragged  to  his  death  by  the  wrathful  Neop- 
tolemus  son  of  Achilles. 

The  meeting  of  Menelaus  wdth  Helen  after  the  fall 
of  Troy  is  depicted  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  bowl 
on  which  was  the  scene  of  her  abduction  by  Paris  (see 
p.  67).  As  Helen  looks  proudly  back  at  him,  Menelaus 
checks  the  hand  which  was  drawing  his  sword  to  kill  her ; 
and  behind  Helen  are  the  protecting  goddess  Aphrodite 
and  two  persons  named  Kriseis  and  Krises. 

6g.  Marble  relief,  late  Greek  work;  death  of  Priam 

yo.  Scene  from  red-figured  howl,  about  460  B.C.;  Menelaus  recovers 




"But,  queen,  have  pity  on  me,  for  after  many  trials  and  sore,  to  thee 
first  of  all  am  I  come,  and  of  the  other  folk  who  hold  this  city  and  land  I 
know  no  man.  Nay,  show  me  the  town;  give  me  an  old  garment  to  cast 
about  me."  .  .  .  Then  Nausicaa  of  the  white  arms  answered  him, 
"Now  since  thou  hast  come  to  our  city  and  our  land,  thou  shalt  not  lack 
raiment  nor  aught  else." 

Odyssey,  vi,  175/. 

The  story  of  Nausicaa  (Odyssey,  vi)  was  used  to 
decorate  the  top  of  a  maiden's  toilet  box.    Odysseus  is 

77.  Red-figiired  toilet  box  {cover),  second  half  fifth  century  B.C.;  Odysseus 

meeting  Nausicaa 





crouching  before  a  tree,  and  Athena  points  him  past  a 
fleeing  attendant  to  Nausicaa  who  raises  her  hand  in 
wonder;  behind  Odysseus  is  another  fleeing  maid  and  a 
maid  who  is  folding  up  the  garments  they  had  been  wash- 

Quos  hominum  ex  facie  dea  sgeva  potentibus  herbis 
induerat  Circe  in  voltus  ac  terga  ferarum. 

Virg.  iEn.  vii,  19-20. 

.  .  .  which  Circe,  fell  goddess,  had  transformed  by  her  magic  drugs 
from  the  fashion  of  men  to  the  visage  and  figure  of  beasts. 

The  monster  Scylla  has  already  been  illustrated  (on 
p.  30),  and  on  an  early  oil  vase  may  be  found  a  very  crude 
picture  of  Odysseus  and  the  Sirens.  His  encounter  with 
Circe  is  the  theme  of  a  damaged  kylix,  which  shows  an 
interesting  variation  from  the  narrative  of  the  Odys- 
sey (x,  319/.).  In  the  centre  Circe  holds  out  her  magic 
potion,  and  on  either  side  are  Odysseus'  companions 
changing  into  various  animals,  a  dog,  a  leopard,  an  ass,  a 
lion,  and  a  horse;  in  the  background  stands  Odysseus 
drawing  his  sword  to  overcome  Circe. 

7 J.  Marble  head  of  Homer 





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